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Blackhawks Reportedly Failed to Report Alleged Sexual Abuse of Players by Video Coach

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 17, 2021

AP Photo/Charles Cherney

Chicago Blackhawks management reportedly refused to file a police report after two players accused former video coach Brad Aldrich of sexually assaulting them in 2010.

Rick Westhead of TSN reported former skills coach Paul Vincent approached then-Blackhawks president John McDonough, vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, general manager Stan Bowman and team sports psychologist James Gary to inform them of the alleged assaults. Vincent allegedly pushed management to file a police report, but the request was refused.

The Blackhawks are the subject of two lawsuits related to the behavior of Aldrich. One lawsuit was filed by an unnamed former player who says he and another player were assaulted by Aldrich. The other was filed by a former high school athlete who alleges Aldrich assaulted him after the Blackhawks gave Aldrich a positive letter of recommendation that led to his hiring as an assistant coach for a high school team.

Aldrich pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a high school student in 2014 and was sentenced to nine months in jail.

The former Blackhawks player who filed suit says Aldrich threatened him "physically, financially and emotionally" in order to coerce him into sexual acts. The abuse allegedly took place during the 2009-10 season.

According to Westhead, the players approached Vincent and said Aldrich "had gotten them drunk in his apartment, watched pornography and then tried to perform oral sex on them." The lawsuit says Vincent directed them to Gary, who told a player "the sexual assault was his fault, that he was culpable for what had happened, [and had] made mistakes during his encounter with the perpetrator and permitted the sexual assault to occur."

The Blackhawks have asked for the suit to be thrown out, citing a statute of limitations. 

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